Work on the State Route 17 (SR-17) Shaded Fuel Break Project will begin in the Redwood Estates Community on Monday, August 26th at 9:00 a.m. (Please see the attached map below). This wildfire resilience project to remove brush, dead and dying vegetation, low limbs and hazardous trees will be completed along SR-17 between the Los Gatos Main Street Bridge and the Summit Road/SR-17 overpass.
About the project
This multi-agency project has been funded through the California Climate Initiative. CAL FIRE and Caltrans have shifted local resources to focus attention to this very important and valuable endeavor. This project along with 34 others are currently approved and underway throughout California to increase the resilience of vulnerable communities from the threat of wildfire, improve public and first responder egress and access along roadways. Shaded fuel breaks reduce the ability of fire to climb vertically into the tree canopy, keeping fires close to the ground where they can be more readily extinguished by first responders.
For property owners within the project area
The project will include areas of public and private property; we can only complete work on private property where access is granted by the property owner. Project representatives are in the community now going door to door to obtain permission. You can complete the Property Owner Packet, found at www.firesafe17.com/neighbors to be prepared for a visit or contact the FireSafe Council.
Agencies collaborating with the Santa Clara County FireSafe Council, Caltrans and CAL FIRE include, the California Highway Patrol, Chemeketa Park, Dudek, Redwood Estates, Santa Clara County Fire Department, Santa Clara County Parks, Santa Clara County Roads and Airports, Santa Clara Valley Water District, San Jose Water Company and the Town of Los Gatos.
Over the next several months, workers will be in the community and adjacent SR-17 to complete the work. Traffic in the communities and along SR-17 will be intermittently impacted. The project team is working to reduce traffic impacts on local and regional travel and will provide weekly updates to residents and highway drivers.
Public Information Officer
Additional information and project updates
Information will be shared through multiple sources including the project website at www.firesafe17.com.
The Santa Clara County FireSafe Council and CAL FIRE are working together to complete a shaded fuel break in the Santa Cruz Mountains. A shaded fuel break is one tool that is used to increase the resilience of a community and reduce the risk of catastrophic loss of life and property. Shaded fuel breaks are created by removing brush, dead and dying vegetation and low limbs of trees, reducing the ability of fire to climb vertically into the tree canopy. Keeping any potential fire close to the ground increases the ability for responders to extinguish the fire quickly.
The fuel break is being planned and executed cooperatively by the Santa Clara County FireSafe Council and CAL FIRE. The project will encompass the 6.5 mile corridor along Highway 17 between Los Gatos’ Main Street Bridge and the Summit Road overpass. Adjoining communities, including both public and private land, will be included.
This multi-agency project has been funded through the California Climate Initiative, and the size and scope of this project is unlike anything that has been done in the past. Governor Newsom, who proclaimed a State of Emergency regarding the risk of wildfire to vulnerable communities in California, directed CAL FIRE to make this project -- along with 34 other similar projects in the state -- a top priority. CAL FIRE has shifted local resources to focus attention to this very important and valuable endeavor.
Agencies collaborating with the Santa Clara County FireSafe Council and CAL FIRE include CalTrans, the California Highway Patrol, Chemeketa Park, Dudek, Mid-Peninsula Open Space District, Redwood Estates, Santa Clara County Fire, Santa Clara County Roads and Airports, Santa Clara County Parks, Santa Clara Valley Water District, San Jose Water Company and the Town of Los Gatos.There will be several phases of the project over the coming months. Most of the phases will have minor to no impact on the roadway, however some parts of the project will affect travel on Hwy 17. The project team is working to reduce the impact on travel and will provide early notification to residents and drivers. Information will be shared through multiple sources including radio, notification lists, digital and print media. The project’s website, www.firesafe17.com, provides answers to frequently asked questions, project updates and news reports for commuters and information for residents whose properties are near the designated work areas.
The SR17 Fuel Break Project
will improve wildfire safety
along and near Highway 17 by reducing the wildfire fuel load
The SR17 Fuel Break Project Team is in the early and rapidly evolving stages of growth. The Project Core Team is developing a well thought out and efficient plan of action at the direction of the Governor of California. The mandate was to identify areas in the State of California’s “Wildland Urban Interface (WUI)” that required proactive action. Chemeketa Park is located in one of the selected areas. The SR17 Fuel Break Project will have a direct, immediate and positive impact on Chemeketa Park’s fire safety.
A team from CAL FIRE and the Santa Clara County FireSafe Council will be knocking on doors soon requesting permission to access selected properties to assess fire hazards and develop a plan to mitigate the hazard. Look for them beginning on Saturday, July 27,2019. Work crews are tentatively scheduled to start work in September. The crews will remove brush, dead or dying trees and clean up the lower branches of the remaining trees in order to create a “shaded fuel break/evacuation route”, which will slow and reduce the spread of a wildfire. Work will only occur on parcels with willing landowners. If you live along or very close to Ogallala Warpath Trail, please expect a visit. More details to follow.
In the meantime, the team has created a website that will be updated regularly. Check out the website at www.firesafe17.com. You will find a ton of information including announcements of upcoming public information meetings, links to downloads, and a form where you can ask questions. The team will get back to you quickly!